Bells Rapids, Swan Valley. Photo by Ann Lewis
Christian Porter is former State MP for the seat of Bateman, Porter was State Treasurer and Attorney General from 2010 to 2012. In 2012 he stepped down from his state ministerial portfolios before successfully contesting the seat of Pearce in 2013. He is currently the Minister for Social Services.
Pearce is outer metropolitan. Its industries include fishing, tourism, agriculture, hospitality, retail, commercial and education. Pearce has been held by the Liberal Party of Australia since its formation, and is considered a safe seat.
Named after Western Australian Senator Sir George Pearce, the longest serving member of the Australian Senate (1901-38), and founder of the Australian Labor Party in Western Australia, the electorate of Pearce has been held by the Liberal Party since its creation at the redistribution of 1989.
Pearce covers more than 13,000 sq km and takes in the northern Perth municipalities of Swan and Wanneroo. Flanking the northeast of metropolitan Perth, Pearce also includes the shires of Gingin, Chittering, Toodyay, Northam, York and Beverley.
It is a safe seat for the Liberal Party, and the small swing (+0.8) toward Labor in the 2013 election has been more erased by the redistribution, which saw Pearce lose the Darling Range suburbs to Hasluck and gain Carramar and Mindarie.
Taking in the interests of metropolitan and rural citizens means Pearce is a diverse electorate. The electorate's rural citizens are concerned with receiving equivalent services to the metropolitan citizens, particularly health services.
The health sector is also a major employer in the regional areas of Pearce. As such, Current MP Christian Porter has focussed a great deal on health issues in his campaign, promising $54 million in funding for diabetes if the Coalition is re-elected and touting services such as the Chittering-Multi-Purpose Community Health Centre in Bindoon, which was opened in November last year and cost an estimated $2.6 million.
Porter won the seat in 2013, taking over from Judi Moylen following her retirement.
Pearce’s metropolitan constituents are concerned about issues such as the pollution associated with industrialisation of their local area; In June this year, the Australian reported on communities near military airbases (including Pearce air base in Bullsbrook) were potentially having their water and land poisoned by the chemicals these bases use to fight fires.
Pearce thus requires its candidates to run ‘two campaigns’; one for the electorate's metropolitan areas and one for the rural areas in the electorate.